The experts at the VMware Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications 2013 ICT Trends Luncheon predicted big changes to the way we will all soon be working. Fast forward just a few years into the future and we will be working from the beach, cafés; at the snow or just about anywhere you can use a mobile device.
I personally like to put that one in front of Richard Branson and the Virgin galactic team. Emerging technologies such as softphones on your PC, tablets, mobile phones and “good old” Gen Y are paving the way for future working trends. Our MC for the luncheon, Vanessa Sulikowski from CISCO believes “Work isn’t a place, work is what you do, and with changes in work practices and attitudes you should be able to work from anywhere.”
I instantly see this as a double-edged sword. While being extremely excited about the flexibility and freedom this creates, I can also see if it’s not facilitated correctly and corporates are not conscious about the way they lead this culture change it could result in an overwhelmed, overworked workforce.
I walk around with two phones. From the moment I wake until the moment I go to bed, I am never more than two metres away from one of these devices unless I’m conscious of having down time and switching the things off!
I am on call 24/7. It has turned into an addiction and I can’t help looking at my emails as soon as my alarm goes off and last thing at night before I go to bed.
Is this a healthy shift?
Where are the boundaries between personal life and work life?
Asanga Wanigatunga from VMware shared a study they undertook earlier in the year called “A New Way of Life” .
The key findings were:
• There was no correlation between work and personal life
• 44% of people work from home the majority of time
• 42% of people confessed that they work while on holiday – (Guilty as charged!)
Read Related Article: The Demise of the 9-5 Job
The research also highlighted people were more productive, less stressed and a lot happier.
Corporations are now turning to the new trend as a way to attract new talent. Companies are looking at strategies around building technology to give people flexible working conditions. One skilled demographic that would benefit from this is stay at home mothers.
There are many business cases that have been built around having a mobile workforce; the only difference is we now have the technology to achieve this.
What about social impacts around environmental factors? Imagine if you had less cars on the road at peak hour. Not only would it be great for the environment, but the stress of commuting would be reduced and we would all be a lot happier.
You also have the next generation coming into the work force – the Gen Ys. These guys are your facebookers, tweeters and pinners. They don’t understand the principles of working 9 to 5 and have grown up using mobile devices. So how do you attract them and their high level of talent?
When an ASX listed consumer based business looked into their revenue streams they found that most of their revenue came from baby boomers. They had start to thinking about what will happen when these guys retire? Their revenue streams will diminish. So where do you look for alternate business revenue streams?
Like it or not, they are the next big thing.
You only need to look at companies like Google and Microsoft who have had the foresight to design a mobile technology, flexible working environment which results in sustainable revenue streams and superior talent acquisition.
So I put it to you, if you were offered the same job by two different companies and one was offering a huge package but you had to work from 8.30am to 6.00pm and the other was offering a slightly smaller package but a flexible working environment, which one would you take?